If you were injured in a car accident and you plan to seek compensation from the at-fault party, you need to get moving on it as soon as possible. While there is some wiggle room, there are time limits involved in getting compensated, so it’s important that you work with a lawyer to meet the deadlines you’re facing. The following are a few things you should know to get started.
The Statute of Limitations
Every state has a statute of limitations for which an individual can file a lawsuit against a responsible party. The clock for the statute begins ticking as soon as you know you are injured, which is generally at the time of your accident. Each state has a different statute, so it’s important your lawyer fills you in on all the details. For example, one state might have a two-year statute of limitations, while a neighboring state has a four-year statute. You’ll need to file the claim in the amount of time your own state sets forth.
Exceptions to the Rule
There are some times when the statute of limitations would not begin immediately following your car accident. For example, if:
- You were in a coma for awhile after your accident. In such a case, it would typically begin when you woke up and were coherent enough to understand what happened to you.
- You were a minor at the time of the accident. Minors are not allowed to file lawsuits. If you were fifteen at the time of your accident, you can file the suit when you turn 18, and the statute of limitations would begin on your 18th birthday.
- Your injuries were discovered later. This would be a situation such as a doctor examining you following the crash and not finding anything wrong. Months later when you return for back problems, the doctor may discover it was related to the crash. The statute would begin at the time of discovery.
What to Do in the Meantime
While you are waiting to file your lawsuit, you shouldn’t just sit around. First, take care of all your medical needs and keep good records of your bills. Second, work with a lawyer to collect information you need to further your case. Finally, be careful about what you do in public because the other party could have a team of professionals watching you to be sure you’re actually injured.
Contact Your Lawyer
To learn more about car accident lawsuits, you should speak with a professional. Contact an automobile accident lawyer, like an automobile accident lawyer in Washington DC, today to get started.
Thanks to Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their insight into the importance of filing a car accident claim in a timely manner.